Stats: 13.6 miles and 1,800 feet of ascent
OS Map: requires os map
Patronising Wilf’s is mandatory and gives an opportunity to ogle the hardware at Wheelbase.
So classic, it’s the Baker Street of Lakeland passes. You could thread it into a longer ride by using it as a warm-up to the Eastern Passes but it’s a perfect pint-sized ride on its own. After the pass itself, as a dessert course, this route takes you up the steady climb from Kentmere Hall Farm and a really exhilarating descent.
As it’s positioned in the SE corner of the Lakes, this ride is easy to get to if you’re constrained by time. Likewise, it would make an excellent ride for a going-home day. You did a big loop in central Lakeland on Saturday and you want to break the homeward journey? Your legs are a bit mashed but you want a digestif to wash down yesterday’s feast? Then get yourself up the Garburn.
1. Turn right out of Mill Yard but onto the main road, not Back Lane.
2. At the A591, follow the generous, off-road cycle lane on the right to Ings.
3. Just as you leave Ings, turn right signed to Borrans. Climb gently on tarmac, ignoring the High House and High Borrans turns.
4. Take the Dubbs Road north, past the tiny reservoir on the left, leading inexorably to the steady climb up the Troutbeck side of the pass.
This has been greatly smoothed in recent years as it used to feature a testing series of rocky steps. Now it’s been tamed and is just a steady pull. Thankfully, the Kentmere side is still mad, bad and dangerous to know. And that is the treat laid out for you now. If you can stay in the saddle all the way down, this is one of the great technical descents in the Lakes.
5. At the bottom, turn left towards the church but double back on the right to the distinctively fortified Kentmere Hall Farm.
6. Climb the gently sloping rake rising up on you left and then swoop down to a fork by a stream.
7. Take the left fork, which proves a delight, offering rocky sections, some great water splashes and a fair few tricky ruts.
8. At the bottom, near Ullthwaite Bridge, take the bridleway on the right past woods to Browfoot.
9. Go through the yard and take the road on the left for a pleasant roll back to Staveley.